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Already we have had an illustration of how our associates intend to regard these new possessions. Great Britain and Australia actually made an agreement to form a monopoly of the phosphates of the Island of Nairu, the two governments sharing. As France and Japan had their share of the colonies, and Italy was negotiating for tangible compensations, this did not affect their interests. They could act similarly in their own share of the loot. But how about the United States? We own one fifth of Nairu, and an administration that allows us to lose by default our part in this rich and essential phosphate region is derelict in its duty.
Similarly, by explicit treaty provisions, we should settle with our partners in these possessions the question of right of fortification. This fact, neglected like many others by our Paris negotiators, needs only a glance at the atlas. One seizes immediately the importance of it. Look at the map of the Pacific; keep in mind that Japan has the German islands north of the equator; mark how the Carolines and the Ladrones (Mariannes), the two former German archipelagoes, lie between Hawaii and the Philippines; and draw your own conclusions.
If the former German colonies contain raw materials and offer market potentialities we cannot afford to allow other nations to monopolize or fence off from us by tariff walls, what shall we say of the Ottoman territories, Egypt and Morocco, the new status of all of which we are invited to subscribe to in the treaties? If the Senate had ratified the Treaty of Versailles, we should have waived in favor of Great Britain and France rights in Egypt and Morocco won and guaranteed by laborious and skilful negotiations of past generations of American statesmen. And what should we have got in return? Nothing at all. As for the Ottoman Empire, the capitulatory régime gave our merchants rights equal to those of all other nations in vast regions which the French and British are now annexing for their exclusive profit. At the present moment we may be able to get along without the open door in these markets, but if it is once closed against us, we shall curse the folly and carelessness of negotiators who
did not know how to defend American rights in international conferences. The mandatory scheme may not be praticable, but the guaranty of the open door for our commerce and our capital, written down in black and white in the revised treaties, I insist is practicable, and can be accomplished by our negotiators in exchange for allowing other nations to have the German colonies, divide the Ottoman territories, and establish protectorates.
Like those relating to Egypt and Morocco, the Shan-tung clauses are repeated in all the treaties. They bring up the same question of the open door, but on a much larger scale. The Shan-tung clauses of the Treaty of Versailles did more to discredit the treaty before American public opinion than any other of its bad features.
I have just re-read the treaties of Versailles and St.-Germain to see if I could not find something in them to justify our participation in them either on the ground of idealism or of national interest. Fearing that I might unconsciously be the victim of my prejudice, I asked members of my Chautauqua classes (for six weeks I lectured to several hundred people twice a day in courses on the treaties and the aftermath of the peace conference) to read over again the treaties before they scattered to their homes all over the United States and bring me some specific feature that might be regarded as directly advantageous to American national interests. The only answer was the vague general affirmation of a stanch Texas Democrat that she believed the creation of the league would atone for the admitted injustices of the treaties, and as the league would prevent wars, that was to the advantage of the United States. Since the summer school experience at Chautauqua, no other answer has been given me even by the reading of Democratic campaign speeches.
And yet the treaties do yield very substantial and specific advantages to our partners in the recent wars. All will have their indemnities and their economic privileges at the expense of the vanquished. The naval and shipping clauses rid Great Britain of German naval and commercial competition at
sea; the Rhine Valley and disarmament clauses are France's solution of the problem of her security; the Sarre Basin occupation gives France an immediate tangible and special indemnity; Alsace and Lorraine are a well-deserved reward to France; Italy has her terre irredente and more, for the Hapsburg Empire is no more; France and Great Britain round out their African empires with the German colonies; Great Britain's policy of shields for India is strengthened by the acquisition of Palestine and Mesopotamia, nicely rounded out by the AngloPersian Treaty of August, 1919; Japan has Shan-tung and lots of islands on our path to the Far East; and China gets back her astronomical instruments stolen by Germany at the time of the Boxer troubles. China would have preferred the return of her most historic province, also stolen by Germany, and let Japan have the astronomical instruments. But the world is not built that way.
What did we get? The recognition of the Monroe Doctrine is something, you say. But did we need to have the Monroe Doctrine recognized, seeing we should always enforce it, anyway? Moreover,
the Monroe Doctrine is not "a regional understanding," as the Treaty of Versailles puts it. And yet there are American interests as important to us as control of northern Africa is to France, of South Africa and the approaches to India to Great Britain, of the Pacific mainland of Asia to Japan, and of the Adriatic to Italy. If the new-world order in which we are asked to coöperate, and which incidentally we shall be called upon to finance, can be realized, as President Wilson explained, only by taking into account the foreign policies and special interests of the four "Principal Allied Powers," how about the foreign policy and special interests of the "Associated Power?"
Contracts without a quid pro quo are worthless. The party whose interests are not looked after in a contract is not likely to accept it. He will send the contract back for revision. That is what we are going to do. And our new negotiators must see to it that the definitive treaties recognize and provide for the interests of the "Associated Power" fully as much as for the interests of the "Allied Powers."
Thirty years ago the cow puncher was typical of the West. To-day, save for a few districts where he still holds sway, his memory is kept green in the moving-picture theaters